SPORTS

Canadiens' Gionta, Markov, Gorges headline exhibition game of locked-out NHLers

09/27/2012 09:44 EDT | Updated 11/27/2012 05:12 EST
CHATEAUGUAY, Qc - Denied NHL pre-season games because of the lockout, hockey-starved fans got possibly even better value for their money at a suburban Montreal rink Thursday night.

Montreal Canadiens stars Brian Gionta, Andre Markov and Josh Gorges, as well as Simon Gagne and Jonathan Bernier of the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings were among 20 NHL players who took part in the first game of the Tournee des joueurs at the Complex Multisports de Chateauguay.

Maxime Talbot and Jason Pominville each scored twice to lead the red "Montreal” squad to a 7-4 win over the white "Quebec" team.

First-come, first-served tickets sold at the door for $20 drew a standing-room-only crowd of 1,250 to the multi-rink arena.

Talbot and Bruno Gervais, both of the Philadelphia Flyers, organized the tour, which will see more games played next week in Saint-Hyacinthe and Sherbrooke.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, a native of Chateauguay, got the win behind a lineup that also included Gionta, Markov, Gorges, Gervais, Alexandre Burrows, Guillaume Latendresse, Colby Armstrong, Mathieu Darche, Derick Brassard and Steve Begin.

Gagne and fellow Quebec City natives Patrice Bergeron, Steve Bernier and David Desharnais were among the members of the losing squad, along with Lars Eller, Travis Moen, Brandon Prust, Francis Bouillon, Roman Hamrlik, Benoit Pouliot, Mathieu Perreault.

Lilianne Demers was in the front row wearing her Canadiens jersey.

"My favourite player is Lars Eller and he's just right there in front of me," said the 14-year-old high school student, who brandished a puck which cost her a bruise on her right hip.

The hard-won souvenir will prove to be a special keepsake from a memorable evening in the wake of the NHL's confirmation earlier Thursday that it had scrapped its pre-season schedule.

"I think it's sad because no one thinks of the fans," Demers said.

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